Acres U.S.A.: Tractor Time

Acres U.S.A.: The Voice of Eco-Agriculture. Our guests are the top names in modern farming and ecology, including doctors, agronomists, authors, soil scientists and more. Hosted by Ben Trollinger, editor of Acres U.S.A. magazine

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Episodes

Monday Nov 22, 2021

On this episode we welcome Nicolette Hahn Niman. The name might sound familiar to some of you. She’s married to the pioneering California rancher Bill Niman, for one, but you might also know her as the author of two seminal works on ethical meat production, Righteous Porkchop and Defending Beef. Over the years, the former vegetarian and environmental attorney has become a passionate and outspoken advocate for sustainable food production and improved animal welfare. She’s published pieces on those topics in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, HuffPost, and The Atlantic. And Chelsea Green has just published a new and expanded edition of Defending Beef: The Ecological and Nutritional Case for Meat. A lot has happened since the first edition of the book was published back in 2007. Since then, cattle have become nearly synonymous with human-caused climate change and environmental destruction. But are cattle inherently bad? Or … is there another side to the argument? In this conversation, you’ll hear why she believes cattle, and other grazing animals, can be used as tools for restoring both human health and ecological balance. Beef, Niman argues, doesn’t have to remain an environmental villain. She believes that wisely managed livestock can help repair ecosystems, fight climate change and improve human health — all at the same time.    

Friday Nov 12, 2021

For the last twenty years, Beth Hoffman has worked as a journalist covering food and farming. Her work has been featured on NPR's Morning Edition, The Guardian, Latino USA, and the News Hour. She’s also taught journalism at university. And now she considers herself a full-time farmer. Although she lived much of her life on the west coast, in the San Francisco area specifically, she and her husband moved to rural Iowa a few years ago with the dream of taking over his family’s 530-acre farm. She tells that story in her new book, Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America, out now from Island Press. The book is part memoir and part exploration of the current state of the family farm. Use the coupon code NOVPOD at the acresusa.com bookstore for 10 % off on all titles.

Friday Oct 15, 2021

On this episode we’re listening in on a recent virtual event for André Leu’s new book, Growing Life: Regenerating Farming and Ranching. And he’s getting a little help from his friends, Vandana Shiva and Ronnie Cummins. Leu, Shiva and Cummins go way back and co-founded Regeneration International back in 2015. The organization promotes food, farming and land-use systems that regenerate and stabilize climate systems, the health of the planet and people. In addition to being the international director for that group, Leu is also a farmer in Australia and the author of The Myths of Safe Pesticides and Poisoning Our Children. We here at Acres U.S.A. are proud to be the publisher of all of his books. I should also mention that he’s speaking at our Eco-Ag Conference in Columbus Ohio in December. Go to ecoag.acresusa.com for more information on that. Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental thinker, activist, feminist, philosopher of science, writer and science policy advocate. She is the founder of Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in India and President of Navdanya International. She is a prolific writer, speaker and author, and recipient of numerous awards. Find her books Food, Farming & Health and Oneness vs the 1% in the Acres U.S.A. bookstore. Ronnie Cummins is co-founder and International Director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and its Mexico affiliate, Via Organica. Cummins has been active as a writer and activist since the 1960s. Over the past two decades he has served as director of US and international campaigns dealing with sustainable agriculture issues including food safety, genetic engineering, factory farming, and global warming. You can find his book, Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Climate, Farming, Food and Green New Deal in the acresusa.com bookstore.

Friday Sep 24, 2021

On this episode of Tractor Time we welcome fourth generation South Dakota rancher Kelsey Ducheneaux-Scott. Kelsey is the director of programs for the Intertribal Agriculture Council, which seeks to build and restore indigenous foodways in Native American communities. She’s also a co-owner of DX Beef, a direct-to-consumer grassfed beef operation on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. That’s where she grew up and that’s where she ranches today with her family. She’s passionate about soil health, land stewardship, education and bringing nutritious food to her community. She received a bachelor’s in Rangeland Management from South Dakota State University, a master’s of agriculture in Integrated Resource Management from Colorado State University, and she’s currently closing in on a doctorate in education at Northcentral University. Even though she’s still only in her 20s, she’s emerged as an important voice within the regenerative agriculture. For more information about Kelsey, visit dxbeef.com.

Wednesday Aug 18, 2021

On this episode we’re discussing talking plants and smart insects with entomologist and author Dr. Joe Lewis. Lewis spent his career in entomology with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service at the Tifton Campus of the University of Georgia. It was there that he worked to unlock the secrets of how plants and insects communicate with one another, particularly how plants use SOS signals to recruit beneficial insects to their defense. Based on those groundbreaking insights, Lewis and his colleagues developed holistic and sustainable approaches to pest management within agricultural systems. In 2008, along with his colleagues John A, Pickett and James H. Tumlinson, Lewis received the prestigious Wolf Prize in Agriculture. Although Lewis has published papers in many academic and scientific journals, he’s just published his first book for Acres U.S.A. It’s call A New Farm Language: How a Sharecropper’s Son Discovered a World of Talking Plants, Smart Insects, and Natural Solutions. The book tells the story of Joe Lewis’s humble beginnings as the son of an illiterate Mississippi sharecropper and the hardscrabble, yet happy childhood he spent raising chickens and growing cotton. It was on that small, rented farm, which had no electricity or indoor plumbing, that Lewis developed a fondness for nature that would set him on an unlikely path toward becoming an eminent scientist and innovator. More than a memoir, A New Farm Language is a manifesto and mission statement confronting the abuses of industrial agriculture and defending the value of strong communities and natural solutions.    

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The Voice of Eco-Agriculture

Founded in 1971, we strive to be lifelong educational partners for farmers, ranchers and growers of all kinds. We strongly believe to farm economically, you must farm ecologically. 

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